Marketing is a dynamic career field that holds a wide range of opportunities for students at all levels. Marketing professionals must be creative and innovative, yet have the ability to understand trends, see details, perform research and analyze data. Now that you’re familiar with the 4 Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion and place) and you can interpret customer’s needs and wants, you’re ready to select your career path and start your journey. Here is an overview of some of the most popular marketing career paths.
A brand is more than a logo, tagline or jingle. Successful brands convey a promise to customers. Brand managers are involved in developing, refining and deploying company, product and service brands that resonate with the desired target markets. They must be creative and be able to generate new ideas, and they also require strong communication and interpersonal skills to share their ideas and persuade others. Solid decision-making, analytical and organizational skills are also necessary for choosing the right strategy and manage their time effectively.
A marketing researcher must be able to collect and analyze the information that is needed to help companies understand customer behavior. Professionals must be able to collect, study and communicate qualitative and quantitative data. Analytical and communication skills are obviously essential, but so are superior critical thinking skills, for choosing which technique used to assess data and which information to report on, and attention to detail, for conducting precise analyses.
Sales is a major component in marketing, and the best salespeople find a way to reach others on a personal level, appealing to both emotion and rationality. They must have superior interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to be persuasive and persistent. Personal selling is an attractive career path, as it can be fulfilling and financially rewarding.
PR is much more than press releases! Public relations professionals orchestrate the communications between the organization and buyers, investors, employees, consumers and the general public. In this area, deft communication skills are essential as PR professionals often speak on behalf of the organizations they represent in public. For this reason, PR professionals must also be organized and good at problem-solving.
As an international marketing professional, you’ll be involved in the important decision of how to balance global consistency with local adaptation for products and services. This requires a strong appreciation for cultures, languages, customer habits and regional differences. This is a good career path for those who like travel.
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
As an IMC professional, you’ll be involved in coordinating a clear and consistent message for your organization across a wide range of media, from simple newspaper ads to sophisticated social media campaigns. Integrated marketing communications can increase efficiency and effectiveness, and improve the consumer experience. Successful IMC practitioners demonstrate both creativity and an ability to analyze trends.
Once your organization has picked which media it wants to use to reach the target market, media buyers negotiate the purchase of advertising space, air time, social media placement and the like. The buyer also helps measure the impact of ad campaigns, and then refine the media mix. Media buyers need to be creative, well-organized and proficient at budgeting.
Conventions and other events are an ideal way to expose potential buyers to your company, brand and products. Trade shows are especially important for business-to-business organizations, as they bring many buyers and sellers to the same place, making it possible to demonstrate new products and services to large groups of people. Convention and event management planners require creativity, organizational and communication skills, and excellent attention to detail.
Sports marketing combines the many disciplines of marketing with the world of sports — professional, amateur and collegiate. Sports marketing professionals may help develop brands, design promotions, handle PR and cultivate sponsorships that increase exposure and bring in revenue.
People with an eye toward management may seek out leadership positions, bringing together teams to achieve common goals. Marketing managers supervise marketing staff, set goals and objectives, and develop marketing campaigns. An increasing number of companies are bringing marketing into the C-suite by creating Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) positions.